Nordic combined 101: Glossary


Anchor leg

The fourth and final leg of the relay race in the team event.

Classical Technique

The traditional ski racing technique. Athletes use a diagonal stride, where both skis stay parallel to each other. This technique is never used in Nordic combined, as it is slower than freestyle.

Fall line

A designated line on the outrun of a ski jumping hill. If a ski jumper loses his balance and falls after the fall line, style points will not be deducted from his jump.

Freestyle Technique

The skating, or freestyle, technique, developed in the 1970s, closely resembles the motions of ice skating, pushing the inside edge of the ski simultaneously backward and outward at about a 45° angle. It is faster than classical technique and thus always used in Nordic combined, though there are no rules that stipulate which technique is to be used.

Glide wax

Wax used to decrease the friction between the skis and the snow. It is applied to the entire ski in freestyle races, but only to the front and rear tips of the skis in classical races.


The portion of the jump during which the athlete travels down the ramp.


The distance from the takeoff that is equivalent to the height of the hill. For the large hill in PyeongChang, the K Point is 125 meters from the takeoff; for the normal hill, it is 95 meters. The K Point determines the amount of distance points awarded to a jump.


The flat area at the bottom of the jumping hill where skiers decelerate and stop.


The snow-covered track or course that is used for racing.

Pursuit start

Also known as the staggered start. In all three Nordic combined events, the start positions and time deficits of the individual (or team) at the beginning of the cross-country skiing portion are dictated by individual (or team) score in the preceding ski jump. The top jumping individual (or team) is pursued by the second-placed individual (or team), who is pursued by the third, and so on.

Speed trap

A section of the course a coach will set to gauge ideal skis and wax before a race.


At the end of the inrun, the moment where the jumper takes flight.

Telemark Position

Landing with one ski in front of the other, lunging forward.


The position of the skis most jumpers use while in the air. The skis are touching or nearly touching at the tail, and spread apart at the tips to form a “V.” The position improves the aerodynamics of the ski jumper.


An uphill climb.

Wax technician

Called a wax tech for short, a staff member responsible for finding the ideal glide and/or kick wax for a given race and snow temperature.

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